Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
ISBA Mutual Lawyers Malpractice Insurance
view counter
A Value of $1,344, Included with Membership
Free CLE
view counter
view counter

Quick Take on the Illinois Supreme Court's Ruling in People v. Sebby

Posted on June 4, 2017 by Mark S. Mathewson

Kerry Bryson reviews People v. Sebby, handed down by the court Friday, June 2.

People v. Sebby

By Kerry Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender

On October 27, 2011, LaSalle County Sheriff's Deputies went to the Sebby residence to serve a custody order. They were looking for the defendant's mother, Bonnie, who they believed had current physical custody of the defendant's niece (L.S.). L.S.'s mother, Casey, was the defendant's sister. Casey died in a car accident a month prior, and the custody order directed law enforcement to assist L.S.'s biological father in obtaining custody of her.

Deputies had gone to the Sebby residence on two occasions during the week prior to October 27, but had been unsuccessful in serving Bonnie with the custody order. On the 27th, deputies arrived at 6 a.m., knocked on the door, and were met by a young woman who did not live at the home. The events that followed were recounted by both the deputies and the defendant and his family and friends, with each side giving a version which differed from the other, and with each version being plausible. The encounter ended with the defendant's arrest for resisting.

Ultimately, the case proceeded to jury trial. During jury selection, there were defects in the Rule 431(b) admonishments provided by the court (commonly known as the Zehr admonishments). Defense counsel, however, did not object to the defective admonishments. On appeal, the defendant relied on the plain error doctrine to challenge the unpreserved 431(b) error.

Quick Takes for Your Practice: Six Types of Difficult Family Law Clients

Posted on June 1, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Gabriela O. Asrow of Hoffenberg & Block, LLC discusses the six types of difficult family law clients and how to work with them.

Congratulations to the Winner of ISBA's Member Appreciation Month Desk4Success Challenge Grand Prize

Posted on May 31, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Congratulations to Rana Meents for winning two tickets to 'Hamilton: An American Musical' with suite service in Chicago!

As part of May Member Appreciation Month, ISBA members were given the option to sign up to receive daily Desk4Success Challenge e-mails — which covered decluttering techniques, how to polish your professional presence, technology tips, and more — and enter our grand prize drawing to win two tickets to see 'Hamilton' in Chicago or a $500 Visa Gift Card. 

Best Practice Tips: Law Firm Governance – Partner Participation in Management

Posted on May 31, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Asked and Answered 

By John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

Q.  I am the founder, majority partner (80 percent), and managing partner of a 22-attorney firm in Phoenix, Arizona. The firm practice is focused in the area of healthcare. There are 12 equity partners, five non-equity partners, and five associates. I manage the firm as a benevolent dictator. I am becoming overwhelmed trying to manage the firm and practice law and I believe the firm is now at a size where others must become involved in managing the firm. I have been considering forming a committee of all the equity partners to manage the firm. Your thoughts are welcomed.

ISBA Mutual Giving Circle

Posted on May 31, 2017 by Sara Anderson

The ISBA Mutual Insurance Company has partnered with the Illinois Bar Foundation to create the ISBA Mutual Giving Circle. This program allows ISBA Mutual policyholders to donate all or part of their dividend to support the mission of the IBF. For more information on joining the ISBA Mutual Giving Circle, contact the Illinois Bar Foundation at (312) 726-6072 or

Member Appreciation Month: Wrap Up

Posted on May 31, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Congratulations on making it all the way through ISBA's Desk4Success Challenge!

We've shared a whole host of ideas this month covering everything from decluttering your office + mind to polishing your professional presence, and timesaving tech tips to office wellness. We hope you've found some new ideas to consider implementing in your own practice.

Here's the list of D4S posts from this month:

Big Change to Child Support Calculation: New Income Shares Method Takes Effect July 1

Posted on May 30, 2017 by Mark S. Mathewson

On July 1, 2017, a major change for calculating child support obligations takes effect. Last year, Public Act 99-764 was enacted. The legislation amended the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act to replace the percentage guideline formula with the income shares model for calculating child support. This is a significant change that brings Illinois in line with 39 other states and the District of Columbia, which already use the income shares model.

Since 1984, Illinois has used the percentage guideline formula to determine child support. It arrives at the child support obligation by multiplying the payor's net income by a statutorily set percentage, which increases based on the number of children. This model is now considered outdated "because it does not reflect actual child rearing costs or allocate those costs between the parents." (Find out more more in the December 2016 IBJ at Rather, the old formula required payors to simply pay a percentage of their net income regardless of the actual child rearing costs. Oak Brook attorney Margaret A. Bennett believes the old model often caused acrimony between divorcing parents because it is not always perceived as equitable and accurate.

Illinois Supreme Court Announces Amendments to Statewide E-Filing Order

Posted on May 30, 2017 by Sara Anderson

The Illinois Supreme Court today announced amendments to the January 22, 2016 E-filing Order, with the goal of further facilitating the Illinois courts' statewide move to an electronic filing system. The amendments address court and vendor fees, incarcerated pro se litigants, migration of counties with stand-alone e-filing systems, a statewide remote access system, and criminal e-filing. (For more about mandatory e-filing, see the June Illinois Bar Journal.)

Court and Vendor Fees. Effective July 1, 2017, for the Illinois Supreme Court and Illinois Appellate Court, and effective January 1, 2018, for the circuit courts, no court or e-filing vendor shall charge the filer a transaction or user fee to e-file. The supreme court’s Electronic Filing Standards and Principles (Standards) were created to govern stand-alone e-filing systems in those jurisdictions approved to e-file. The Standards prohibited courts from collecting a fee (beyond the statutory civil filing fees) but allowed for an e-filing vendor to charge a transaction or use fee to the e-filer.

Kendall County State's Attorney's Office Seeks Civil Attorney

Posted on May 30, 2017 by Sara Anderson

The Kendall County State's Attorney's Office is seeking a full-time assistant state's attorney in its civil division. The position requires a civil litigation background, working knowledge of real estate closings and zoning issues, contract review experience, and excellent research and writing abilities. Minimum of two to five years of civil practice experience with prior government experience preferred.

Resumes and supporting documents should be received no later than June 15, 2017. Salary commensurate with experience.

Please send cover letter, resume, writing samples, and reference to:

The Office of State's Attorney
Kendall County
807 West John Street
Yorkville, IL 60560
Telephone number: (630) 553-4157
Fax number: (630) 553-4204

The Kendall County State's Attorney's Office is an Equal Opportunity Employer

CLE - Implicit Bias: How It Impacts the Legal Workplace and Courtroom Dynamics – Live Webcast

Posted on May 30, 2017 by Sara Anderson

Being conscious of our own bias matters. Most of us are not aware that we harbor subconscious associations towards others based on characteristics such as gender, race, ethnicity, age, and appearance. Such attitudes and stereotypes find their way into law offices and courtrooms every day, often resulting in disparate treatment toward others, as well as to oneself. Only by becoming more aware of these “hidden” biases can we begin to correct them. Attorneys with all levels of practice experience who attend this online seminar on June 14, 2017 will be better prepared to: recognize implicit bias in themselves, their workplace, and the courtroom; learn how to ensure that one’s personal biases do not unfairly impact the outcome of the representation of clients; recognize the psychological dynamics in areas that affect lawyers in their everyday practices; learn from specific examples of how implicit bias and cultural awareness can be used to the advantage of clients, especially in  litigation; and much more!

The seminar is presented by the ISBA Standing Committee on Racial & Ethnic Minorities and the Law. It qualifies for 2.0 hours MCLE credit, including 2.0 hours Professional Responsibility MCLE credit.

Click here for more information and to register.